Thursday, June 18, 2009

Who benefits from Philippine elections?

Only half of the expected 2 million Filipinos registered as new voters, says the Commission on Elections. As of June 2009, the total number of Filipino registered voters stand at only 44 million, down by about 4 million. COMELEC expects the number of registered voters to about 49.5 million before May 2010.

I also received distressing news that overseas Filipinos have not registered themselves yet. Only about 220,000 have registered. There is an estimated 10 million Filipinos working abroad and this is dismally low. What is the problem?

Are Filipinos giving up on elections as a democratic way to change things? Are they expressing their silent dissent that these elections are just a mockery of democracy and like always, nothing will change even if they register and vote come May 2010?

Many people whom I talked to express their disappointment with our democratic process. They said that nothing will ever change in this nation of 90 million Filipinos. And I can't blame them.

For the past twenty years after the 1986 EDSA Revolution, with more than ten elections participated in by the people, was there any real, substantial change in the way we do things? There is none.

The poor gets poorer and hungrier by the day, while the rich becomes richer by the minute. Grafters like Jocjoc Bolante still roam the hotels, coffee shops and streets of Manila while the likes of Legacy owner Celso delos Angeles and that Sulpicio Lines owner remain outside the reach of Justice.

Those road contractors who amassed billions of pesos enjoy their steaks while big-time operators have their field day buying properties left and right, using those hard earned taxes paid by the people.

Food, oil and electricity prices have started to strain the pockets of the middle class. The high costs of tuition fees are getting on the nerves of parents. Telecommunications companies, particularly Globe Telecommunications, act like tyrants and brutes, even blaming their subscribers for their vanishing pre-paid loads.

For all of these things, the poorer sectors of our society continue to get the brunt end of the bargain. They are the ones being victimized by VAT. They are the ones being asked to pay additional taxes. And they are the ones who are always blamed by the middle class whenever someone like a big-time gambler and womanizer wins the presidency.

In all of these, the elites are sure beneficiaries of democracy. They scot around the law whenever they are being accused of violating them. They get billions from public coffers. They swim in a pool filled with gems and jewels, while their farmers and feudal peons work the fields to harvest sugarcane.

They act like they're the leaders of this country, telling the people what to say, think and do. Every other three or six years, they go around town, urging people to vote just so that these people forget all their hardships and sufferings and take part in this charade called democracy.

Who are the prime leaders of this call for elections? Analyze and observe, my people. They are those who benefitted from public monies paid by us. They are part of the elite class who use elections as a social heroin and a pretext that we are in a democracy instead of a plutocracy. They are members of civil society who are part of the counter-elite, the social conscience of this despicable class. They don't want us to revolt. They don't want an authentic revolution here. They are the stooge of the ruling class. They are a big part of this decrepit system of virtual slavery. Through this thing called elections, the down-trodded and the poor, the disfranchised and the sufferers, the penniless and the powerless all continue their sorry stories of oppression and poverty. Elections are Greek tragedies that are used as bait to further enslave the huge mass of Filipinos.

So, who benefits from elections?